Guide to Greek Usage in Cataloging

The following statements apply to headings and bibliographic description:

Greek numbers

  • Written in the form of letters of the alphabet with a prime( ') sign added after the letter.
  • Romanize as Arabic numbers: 1, 2, 3, etc.
  • Appear chiefly as bibliographic description in edition statements, series numbering, and pagination.
  • When read in romanization as ordinal numbers (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.). A period, after the number in Greek, takes the place of the numerical abbreviation used in English: 1., 2., 3..
  • Ordinal number forms are adjectives and will inflect; appear most often in serial designators

Persons identified by a Roman numeral in English (kings, patriarchs, metropolitans, etc.)

  • Convert Greek ordinals (see above) to Roman numerals

Years in Greek

  • Appear in clusters of 4, as letters of the alphabet with additional archaic forms
  • Most common in older publications and manuscripts
  • The link provided here, in addition to repeating the Greek number table, illustrates the historical development of numerical form and provides a table of symbols representing years. Consult the list of symbols used in representing years to decipher the years you may encounter in texts. Ancient Greek numerals.
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